Jayalalithaa’s legal wrangles

Saturday, Sep 27, 2014,16:01 IST By metro vaartha A A A

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, convicted today by a Bangalore special court in a disproportionate assets case, had fought more than a dozen cases and was acquitted in most of them.
On September 21, 2001, Jayalalithaa had to step down as Chief Minister following a Supreme Court verdict which struck down her appointment by the then Governor M Fathima Beevi as she then faced conviction in the TANSI land deal case.   The conviction attracted provisions of the Representation of the People Act which disqualified her from contesting elections.
The sentencing in the TANSI land deal case by a Chennai special court on October 9, 2000 barred her from contesting election in 2001 though she was later acquitted by the Madras High Court, a verdict upheld by the Supereme Court in November 2003.   The Chennai Special court had sentenced Jayalalithaa and her aide Sasikalaa to three years imprisonment in Jaya Publications case and two years in Sasi Enterprises case both linked to the TANSI land deal.
Subsequently, when she filed papers to contest from four constituencies including Andipatti in the 2001 assembly polls all of them were rejected.
The rejections were used effectively by the AIADMK during the poll campaign, and the party returned to power winning 132 of the 140 seats it contested.    Later, when she was appointed Chief Minister on May 14, 2001 by then Governor Fathima Beevi, the issue went to the Supreme Court and she had to step down.
Of the 14 cases filed against her during the DMK’s 1996-2001 regime, AIADMK chief Jayalalitha was acquitted in several of them like the TANSI case.   In the Pleasant stay hotel case, she was acquitted by the Madras High Court on December 4, 2001.   The case was linked to alleged clearance by Jayalalitha for the construction of a hotel in ecologically important Kodaikanal by flouting government rules.
A special court had convicted her on February 2, 2000 and sentenced her to two separate one-year imprisonments running concurrently in the case.    She was also acquitted in the colour TV case. Interestingly, she was arrested based in this case after she lost power in 1996. On May 30, 2000, a special court acquitted her and the Madras High Court dismissed an appeal and upheld the acquittal on August 21, 2009.   In the Rs.28.28 crore Spic disinvestment case, she was acquitted on January 23, 2004 by a special court.
In the Coal import deal case, she was dishcarged by a special court in 1999 which was upheld by Madras High Court.   On appeal, the Supreme Court rejected her discharge and ordered a retrial. On December 27, 2001, a special court acquitted her again.
While the London hotels case was withdrawn with Supreme Court nod, the proceedings were quashed in the USD three lakh gift case by the Madras High Court on September 30, 2011. Later, CBI filed an appeal in the Supreme Court.
In the Income tax returns (non-compliance) cases, proceedings are still on at the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court (Economic Offences) in Chennai and a compounding petition was filed by Jayalalithaa and her aide Sasikala which is pending with tax authorties.

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